Friday, April 3, 2009

Kurt's favorite joke

Kurt Vonnegut's favorite joke, as told by Mark Vonnegut in his preface to a posthumous collection of Kurt's essays, "Apocalypse in retrospect":
Every day for years and years a customs agent carefully searched through this guy's wheelbarrow. Finally, when he was about to retire, the customs agent asked the guy, "We've become friends. I've searched your wheelbarrow every day for many years. What is it you're smuggling?"
"My friend, I am smuggling wheelbarrows."
The whole introduction is available here at NPR, with an added bonus of a recording of Mark Vonnegut reading Kurt's letter home that he wrote in 1944 after being released from the german POW camp.

N.B.: I picked up Camus' "The Myth of Sysyphus" and the above collection of Vonnegut stories in a book store at SFO airport, and they were displayed much more prominently than all the trash fiction that usually takes up all the shelf space in airport bookstores. Take note, fellow cynics, there's still a hope out there for us.

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